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Calvin Pryor rips ex-Jets coach Rex Ryan

Jets second-year safety Calvin Pryor ripped into Rex Ryan

FLORHAM PARK: For the last two days, nearly all on the Jets roster have kept their mouths shut regarding Bills coach Rex Ryan and his decision to make ex-Jet I.K. Enemkpali captain for this Thursday's game.

When asked for an opinion on the matter, some instead shared kind memories of Rex's time with the franchise, while others politely declined to comment. For the most part, anytime Ryan or I.K.'s name was brought up, there was nothing noteworthy said. 

That was until safety Calvin Pryor took his turn behind the recorders. 

"It was definitely kind of disrespectful," Pryor said of I.K.'s captaincy. "You have a guy that was once here, who hit a teammate. To make him a captain going into the game? I mean, if you're going to make him a captain, just make him a captain. You don't have to announce it on Monday for the whole world to know."

Pryor's mini-rant, which quickly turned to Rex bashing, began when the safety was asked about Ryan's decision to name Enemkpali captain. Enemkpali, while yes the Jets sixth-round pick in 2014, is better known as the player that socked Jets quarterback Geno Smith across the face during a locker room fight in August. 

Enemkpali was released shortly after his fist met the quarterback's jaw, while Smith sat out the ensuing 11 weeks recovering from the knockout. Enemkpali was later claimed off the waiver wire by the Bills, while Smith has yet to regain his starting quarterback spot. 

"That's just Rex being Rex," Pryor said. "Over the years, he has his antics, but that's just Rex being Rex... He has his reasons. We still have to play the game on Thursday."

The subject of Enemkpali may have started Pryor's tirade, but it certainly wasn't the only thing Rex related that the 23 year old got off his chest. 

On a conference call with New York media earlier in the day, Ryan had said he still believed the Jets 2013 draft class, which brought in Sheldon Richardson among others, deserved an "A+" grade. When the Jets ensuing draft class was brought up, the 2014 one that featured Pryor as the team's first-round pick, Ryan said "not so much."

So, Pryor, who struggled as a rookie but has had a bounce-back 2015 season, was asked about Rex's grading scale. His response?

"Has to do with coaching as well. It goes hand in hand," Pryor said. "Could have played guys in the right position."

Pryor continued to say later that he has nothing personal against Ryan, and that he evens likes him as a person. He offered even higher compliments when it came to Ryan's ability to coach the defensive side of the ball, and added he has a "good sense of humor."

But when pressed about Ryan as a head coach, Pryor was a bit less flattering. 

"Uh," he said with a smile. "No comment on that." 


Connor Hughes is the New York Jets beat writer for The Journal Inquirer and He can be reached on Twitter (@Connor_J_Hughes), or via email (

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